So the NRL are set to sell out the State of Origin, why not, we at The Gurgler are massive sell outs have a look at the adverts on our website, so we say bring it on, sold to the highest bidder.
The Courier Mail have reported the horror of the sell out here, but their outrage is a little pot-kettle if you’ve sifted through the plethora of adverts in their former Newspaper of the Year.
Why should Queensland and NSW have all the fun just because it is a game just between two states in a game that is played predominantly in two states. It’s not as if other premium head to heads in world sport don’t move their games – like Celtic v Rangers, or England v Australia in the Ashes, or Carlton v Collingwood. Actually now we think of it, that’s a bad example as none of those games will ever likely to be played anywhere other than where they should be. Nor will any of the other premium clashes around the world as they know not to stuff around with it.
The NRL do like to sell out though. Like their entire NRL competition which they ruin for 2 months During Origin. Or the theme round of Superheores based on just one particular type of jersey manufacturer. So who is really surprised that possibly one game a year will be auctioned off.
But if it’s going to happen, why not embrace it with a Six Pack of suggestions for the powers than be on where to stage it for maximum interest and commercial value.
PORT MORESBY – NATIONAL FOOTBALL STADIUM
What better way to christen the new National Football Stadium in the heartland of rugby league that is PNG, than with a game of State of Origin played in the only country where rugby league is the national game. Throw in a PNG Hunters game as a curtain raiser and you have the ultimate venue for the ultimate game. Sure there’s fewer people than either Suncorp or the Olympic Stadium, and the costs would be astronomic to do, and the security measures required would probably mean the game would never make a profit, but why not a win for rugby league over the coffers.
The obvious answer to a sold out game is Melbourne, but only at the MCG. But do they really care without the cheap or free tickets, probably not. Instead, why not the newly revamped Adelaide Oval, which holds around the same as Docklands Stadium, and will be played in front of a crowd happy for the national exposure but with little follow on interest of rugby league. Oh, and the handful of fans who can remember the Adelaide Rams, and long for their return.
LONDON OLYMPIC STADIUM
With West Ham due to move into the new rectangular Olympic Stadium, let’s suggest we all travel halfway across the world to give the UK and/or Europe (depending on the vote) a taste of how good Origin is. Sure they have their many, many classic football rivalries, but there’s not many with as much hate as Qld v NSW. The game would have to be played in the morning to suit Australian TV Times, and that would be the big negative. With an early start the drinking looks more anti social than in Australia at 9am, but if anyone can do it, it’s the English.
TOKYO OLYMPIC STADIUM
The Japanese love a fad, and what bigger fad is there than State of Origin. There would be giant Hello Kitty inflatables in the form of Boyd throughout the streets of Shinjuku. Given how pear shaped the Olympic bidding process is apparently, if 2020 hosts Tokyo lose the Olympics they’ll be looking for a new premium game. Qld v NSW might just fit the bill.
A FLOATING FOOTY FIELD ON A CRUISE SHIP by P & O
The NRL could create a giant football field and place it on a massive Cruise Liner, doing circles in Sydney Harbour around the Harbour Bridge and Opera House for the best backdrop in Australian sport. They’d be no need for Grandstand as the only crowd would be the people on board paying $2000 for the 3 night experience. With the background of iconic Sydney it would be TV Gold too, and the lack of fans won’t matter as the NRL won’t feel the need to completely rip off the fans at the gate if they can get a full quota of cruise ship fans.
SYDNEY or BRISBANE?
A cynic may say the whole issue of potentially selling an Origin game is a way for the two capital cities to fork out a shitload of money for a game they should already be hosting. That sounds like real NRL.